Coaching FAQs

A Safe Relationship of Equals

Attuned to Your Needs

For Your Healing & Growth

As a coach, I prioritize the healing power of a safe, attuned relationship with my clients. I provide trauma-informed care, help you build healthy relationships, and identify and replace negative beliefs to reduce shame and fear.

As your peer, I celebrate your progress and guide you toward achieving your goals. I also help clients develop a positive view of themselves, others, and the world.

Working with a Trauma Recovery Coach can be a deeply healing and empowering experience. With just the right amount of support, education, and encouragement, you can begin to understand yourself on a deeper level and uncover the roots of your past traumas.

The coaching relationship is built on honesty, compassion, and trust, providing a safe space to explore your healing journey at your own pace. I will help you identify and reframe the broken core beliefs that trauma and abuse have taught you, and set achievable goals that celebrate your small victories and big wins.

Many clients report that Trauma Recovery Coaching is the first relationship where they have felt truly understood and supported.

Your coach will provide you with healthy coping skills and tools to stabilize your life in the short term, while also integrating psychoeducation, neuroscience, and somatic techniques to manage complex trauma symptoms and create experiences for growth and healing.

With Trauma Recovery Coaching, you can experience peace, strength, and a renewed sense of empowerment as you move toward a more fulfilling life.

  1. Healing from complex post-traumatic stress disorder requires building new relationships.
    • Trauma Recovery Coaching understands this and creates a safe space for clients to learn how to feel secure with another person, leading to significant relief from the pain and suffering of C-PTSD.
  2. The Trauma Recovery Coach empowers clients to set their own recovery goals and supports them 100% throughout the process.
    • This client-led approach helps individuals with C-PTSD overcome feelings of shame, worthlessness, powerlessness, and blame that often stem from their trauma, resulting in a renewed sense of control and autonomy.
  3. The unconscious brain of those with complex trauma was programmed to believe that life is overwhelming, dangerous, and unmanageable.
    • Working with a Trauma Recovery Coach can help clients see that life can be functional and manageable, offering relief from the fear and anxiety associated with C-PTSD.
  4. Trauma Recovery Coaching is designed specifically for the unique needs of those suffering from C-PTSD.
    • Each client is recognized as an individual with their own specific needs, resulting in tailored services that provide relief from the complex and often debilitating symptoms of C-PTSD.
  5. The Trauma Recovery Coach is a partner who walks alongside the client on their journey to recovery. They work collaboratively to help clients claim their power, assert themselves, and speak their truth.
    • This empowering approach helps those with C-PTSD break free from the negative self-talk and patterns of behavior that stem from their trauma, resulting in significant relief from the pain and suffering of C-PTSD.
  6. Trauma Recovery Coaching takes a holistic approach to healing, working with the whole person – body, mind, and spirit.
    • Unlike a one-size-fits-all approach, Trauma Recovery Coaching listens to each client’s unique needs and offers personalized education, experience, hope, and caring.
    • This approach provides significant relief from the pain and suffering of C-PTSD by addressing the root causes of the trauma and helping clients achieve a more balanced, fulfilling life.
  1. Build a safe, healthy, attuned, validating relationship with you.
    • This is the cornerstone of our work together. I want to help you build healthy relationships with yourself, others, and the world.
      • By creating a safe and supportive space, we can work together to help you develop the skills and tools you need to thrive.
  2. Guide, teach, and mentor clients. I approach this as a partnership, where we work together as peers and share power equally.
    • You are the expert on your own life, and my job is to support you in finding your own solutions.
  3. Help you achieve your goals. Together, we can map out a path that will bring you closer to leading the life that you want to live.
    • I believe in your ability to create positive change in your life, and I am here to help you make it happen.
  4. Celebrate your progress! As your coach, I am here to cheer you on and recognize your accomplishments.
    • Every step forward is a victory, and I am proud to be a part of your journey.
  5. Replace the negative beliefs about ourselves that trauma causes. Together, we identify those core beliefs and replace them with healthy truths.
    • By doing inner critic work together, we can help you develop a more positive and compassionate view of yourself.
  6. Empower you with a deeper understanding of how trauma has impacted your life and introduce you to various modalities that can help you take charge of your own healing.
    • By learning more about yourself and your experiences, you can:
      • Understand it was never your fault
      • Make informed decisions about your own recovery.
  7. Help clients develop a healthy view of themselves, others, and the world. By exploring your beliefs and values, we can work to help you create a positive and empowering perspective.
    • I am here to support you in developing a sense of confidence and self-worth that will allow you to thrive.
  8. Prioritize your safety and well-being.
    • I always view the process, your individual needs, and your situation through a trauma lens.
  1. I do not diagnose, treat, or assess my client’s mental health, nor do I provide advice about medication.
  2. I do not prescribe treatment or design treatment plans or set goals for my clients. My role is to collaborate with clients to help them identify and achieve their own goals.
  3. While coaches may not typically “process” trauma with clients, we focus on helping clients function at a higher level and create a more positive space in their everyday lives.
  4. Coaches do not work with clients who are at high risk of harming themselves or others.
    • If a client needs additional specialized support, I will refer them to appropriate help until they are stable enough to return to coaching.
  5. As a coach, I work within my scope of competence, leveraging my areas of skill and training to best serve my clients.

Certified Trauma Recovery Coaches (CTRCs) are trained Mental Health Practitioners accredited by the International Association of Trauma Recovery Coaches.

CTRCs acknowledge past traumas and work in the present with each client to create a safe environment and prevent re-traumatization.

They educate clients about the effects of complex trauma, provide tailored recovery goals, and empower clients to solve their own problems while celebrating progress.

Certified Trauma Recovery Coaches are guides and mentors who build healthy relationships with clients, provide education on trauma and recovery, and support clients in identifying and replacing unhealthy core beliefs.

They work with clients to develop a healthy view of themselves, others, and the world, and view the process, the individual, and the situation through a trauma lens.

Trauma Recovery Coaching is specifically designed to address trauma and the methods, resources, and techniques used are highly effective in helping clients recover from the aftereffects of trauma.

Trauma Recovery Coaching is unique in its focus on past traumas and their impact on clients’ present lives.

Unlike other types of coaching that only address the present and future, Trauma Recovery Coaches delve deep to uncover the root causes of developmental trauma that may hinder progress.

By avoiding structured theories, diagnoses, or prescribed solutions, Trauma Recovery Coaches encourage clients to explore growth opportunities, set recovery goals, and view all experiences as learning opportunities.

The coach empowers the client to take responsibility for their growth and outcomes, while offering validation and support along the way. Trauma Recovery

Coaches work on the “bi-products” of trauma, such as codependency, shame, addiction, and self-harm, guiding clients to focus on self-care and self-compassion with practical tools to manage daily life as they heal from past traumas.

By resolving the aftereffects of past traumas with the support of a trauma recovery coach, clients can experience true post-traumatic growth, leading to greater resilience, self-awareness, meaning, and a sense of empowerment in their lives.

Therapists are the first line of defense for trauma survivors, acting as “trauma surgeons”. Trauma recovery coaches work collaboratively as peers, providing clients with a safe relationship for reconnection with themselves and others, and encouraging and championing clients to set and reach their own goals in recovering from trauma and life setbacks.

Therapy is a process of seeking help from a psychiatrist (MD), psychologist (Ph.D.), or master’s level therapist. They will generally use a medical model of disease to diagnose you with a mental health disorder(s) using the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Version 5). This is necessary for insurance reimbursement.

Once they’ve identified your disorder(s), the therapist will create a treatment plan based on their knowledge and expertise to address your specific needs.

During therapy sessions, the therapist will use different techniques to help you work through your disorder.

Therapists might process past traumas with clients using various modalities such as EMDR, somatic experiencing, sensorimotor therapy, and psychodrama, which focus heavily on revisiting past trauma.

  • These techniques can be extremely effective in treating PSTD resulting from “shock” traumas: one-time events involving overwhelming fear coupled with a lack of control over the situation.

The relationship between you and your therapist is usually warm, but it’s still a professional one with clear boundaries and rules.

The therapist will respect ethical guidelines, and they generally don’t discuss their personal life with you. The goal is to work together towards your recovery and improve your overall quality of life.

The therapist will take charge of your care and intervene when you’re unable to help yourself. They’re skilled in diagnosing, assessing, and treating serious disorders, such as substance addiction, eating disorders, and active suicidal ideation.

They may also refer you to medical services for medication-based treatment or other forms of therapy.

Therapists and other mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, and licensed professional counselors are the first lines of defense for trauma survivors.

Trauma recovery coaches help survivors as equals and supporters. They get behind the client’s personal goals for recovery.

Coaches provide support as clients begin to take greater levels of ownership of their future. Coaching is more collaborative and client-led, and clients are peers.

Goal-setting is client-directed. Unlike therapists, coaches do not treat or diagnose mental health illnesses and do not operate from a traditional medical model.

In trauma recovery coaching, clients often have a lifetime of normalizing disconnection from themselves and others. Many clients are isolated from family and support people and therefore continue to live in a state of disconnection.

Coaches provide a safe relationship for clients and a place, over time, for reconnection with another person and ultimately themselves. Like personal trainers, coaches encourage, spur on, and champion clients to set personal goals and help them reach their goals in recovering from trauma and life setbacks.

It is not uncommon for clients to be involved in both coaching and psychotherapy simultaneously if warranted, and consultation between coaches and mental health professionals is encouraged. Coaches may assign homework or have contact outside of the scheduled appointment.

Coaches are a great part of a client’s mental health team.

If you are experiencing clinical depression, anxiety, substance addiction, significant self-harm issues, or active suicidal thoughts, then it’s necessary to seek the help of a therapist and/or psychiatrist.

Trauma Recovery Coaches do not diagnose or prescribe medication, and their services are not intended to replace therapy or medication management. We cannot treat active suicidal ideation, self-harm, or substance addiction. However, if you are working with a licensed professional on the previous issues, a Trauma Recovery Coach can be an excellent additional support.

Trauma Recovery Coaching is designed for those who have an emotional baseline and may have done some internal work or healing previously but want to delve deeper into their healing journey.

The impact of childhood trauma and narcissistic abuse is deeply rooted in relationships, making it a relational trauma. This affects one’s ability to feel safe with others. That’s why the journey toward healing and overcoming developmental trauma also must occur within the context of relationships.

Through Trauma Recovery Coaching, clients have the opportunity to build a safe, attuned relationship with a coach who can help them learn how to trust and feel secure in the presence of another person.

This type of relationship can be incredibly healing, allowing clients to work through their trauma in a supportive and nurturing environment.

The coaching process also addresses coping mechanisms that were originally brilliant and life-saving in response to past trauma, but that may be holding you back now.

Coaching can involve goal-setting, value clarification, brainstorming, completion of written assignments, accountability, identifying plans of action, and empowering new choices.

It’s important to note that coaching is not a substitute for counseling, psychiatric interventions, medical advice, or other professional services.


It’s possible for clients to receive treatment from both therapists and Trauma Recovery Coaches concurrently, and this approach can be very beneficial.

If the client authorizes it by signing releases, the therapist and coach can coordinate and communicate to better serve the client’s needs, although this is not a requirement.

Narcissistic abuse and family scapegoating is serious relational/developmental trauma. It requires a very safe relationship and some work to overcome.

Your life will improve much quicker if you work with a professional who understands the intricacies of narcissistic abuse and complex post-traumatic stress disorder.

Thankfully, some therapists do understand narcissistic abuse. If you have suffered narcissistic abuse, it is critical that your therapist or coach deeply understands it & knows what to do. They should also be skilled in working with complex post-traumatic stress disorder.

If a therapist truly gets narcissistic abuse, they are probably gearing their branding and marketing around it – if they engage in marketing.

Also, therapists who specialize in trauma, especially developmental, relational, attachment, or complex trauma, are more likely to be able to help you.

If all their business is by word of mouth/referrals, and you’re not sure if they can help you, then the following questions might help you determine if they get it.

Ask these questions one at a time. Then be silent and wait until they’ve given you their complete answer before you move on to the next question.

  • Have you worked with survivors of narcissistic abuse before?
  • Can you describe your understanding of the interpersonal dynamics of narcissistic abuse?
  • What strategies do you suggest to survivors to navigate these dynamics?
  • What are some of the intrapsychic issues that you have found survivors to struggle with typically?
  • How do you help them overcome these struggles?
  • What is your understanding of complex post-traumatic stress disorder, and how do you think is it most effectively treated?

Let them volunteer the information. Do not supply the answers for them if they ask clarifying questions like “What do you mean by ____?”

  • You want to know their answer
  • If they think it’s a vague or off-beat question, that tells you something
  • If they change the subject, even a little, that tells you something
  • If they tell you complex post-traumatic stress disorder is not in the DSM (that’s true it’s not … yet), that tells you something

If they have answers to your questions that make you feel super hopeful, relieved, calm, and clear – like “Yes, somebody finally understands and can help me!” that’s a beautiful sign.

If you find yourself sighing in discouraged resignation, like you’re going to have to “settle”, like you’ll need to work to convince a “professional” of your reality so that you can hopefully feel vindicated someday … you might want to look elsewhere.

I believe it’s worth the time and effort to keep looking. You should not have to work to be understood, validated, and championed.

Many therapists simply lack awareness. They’re not trying to be unsupportive, ineffective, or invalidating. They went to school and did not learn much if anything about narcissistic abuse. It’s not a part of most Masters or Ph.D. programs. Since their schooling, they’ve been taking Continuing Education courses about various treatment modalities, but not about narcissistic abuse.

They think they understand NPD, and they may in its classic presentation. But usually not in great depth.

Often, they are unaware of the prevalence of narcissistic abuse, and they don’t understand the subtleties of how it operates. These therapists can be quite skeptical of your qualifications, your accuracy in “diagnosing” somebody, and everything that comes from that.

  1. You may feel misunderstood, not attuned to, and invalidated.
  2. You may engage in a futile struggle to get the validation you so desperately need (sound familiar?)
  3. You may spend way too much time looking at “your part” – ordinarily a good idea, with character disorders a waste of time
  4. They may see no real reason that you can’t just “work out your differences” with a narcissist – through improved communication, for example. Especially if they are family.
  5. Because of the above, you may waste years or decades of your life attempting the impossible
  6. You won’t get the crystal clarity that is essential after years of gaslighting
  7. You may be retraumatized by your therapist invalidating you or treating you in a similar fashion as the narcissist. Not that they are necessarily narcissistic, but they may not be careful as you need them to be.

If you are 3-4 or more sessions in, and your gut is telling you:

  • “This person just doesn’t seem to understand me, my situation, what I’m struggling with. They don’t seem to have any idea how to help me”

… Then I would listen to your intuition.

If you have a sinking feeling that the two of you are just not clicking … that’s not good. Things have never ultimately worked out for me under those circumstances. I’d say start looking at other therapists or coaches.

You don’t have to discontinue right away. Through the mere act of looking around, you are telling yourself that you have options (you do! – trauma survivors learn that they don’t have options). Simply knowing you have options will make you feel better.

This is not to say that a therapist who doesn’t understand narcissistic abuse can’t help you a lot. A healthy, attuned relationship can be very healing in and of itself. Relational trauma is healed through healthy relationships.

However, you may get better more quickly and act more wisely with respect to the narcissists in your life with somebody who deeply understands narcissistic abuse.

The crucial importance of strongly enforced distance from narcissists tends to be overlooked by mental health professionals who don’t get it. This lack of appropriate distance is in fact very damaging and can delay your healing indefinitely.

Unfortunately, if a therapist doesn’t understand what you’ve been through (and even if they do) there is a possibility that they may say or do something that feels like the abuse you’ve suffered. This can happen with coaches as well – it’s a human thing.

This can be re-traumatizing and really hurtful. Especially after you’ve made yourself vulnerable. It’s called a relationship rupture; they happen. Healthy people do their best to repair relationship ruptures.

Try to remain as calm as you can, perhaps wait until you’re not triggered to address it with them. Think calmly about what part, if any you may have played in the interaction. Eventually, I recommend you bring it up – say what happened, and how it made you feel. Saying you are angry or were angry is OK if delivered respectfully.

If they fully acknowledge what happened, if they care, say they’re sorry, ask what they can do to make it better, ask you what you need to be OK – that’s wonderful. If they applaud you for your anger, even better. These experiences can deeply disconfirm what you learned in your abusive relationships – that you have no rights and you’re not worth repairing a rupture with.

These experiences can be beautifully healing and deepen your bond with your therapist or coach. This is how life is supposed to be. We’re all human, we all make mistakes, and that’s OK.

On the other hand, if they deny, distort, minimize, obfuscate, invalidate, shame, blame, or turn it around on you – I’m very very sorry. Nobody deserves that. Helping professionals are humans and sometimes humans don’t like to admit mistakes. Talk to somebody who cares about you about what happened. Call a warmline or hotline if you need somebody.

Own your part of it, if any – but trust your gut too. Just because they have a degree and you’re the patient with a diagnosis doesn’t mean they are right all the time or justified in their behavior all of the time. You deserve respect and consideration and if they don’t understand you or your situation, that’s their lack of understanding.

  • Don’t do anything rash, chew on it, sleep on it. Maybe pull back and don’t make yourself so vulnerable with them for the time being.
  • Ask them some more neutral abstract questions for a while. That way you’re safe. You’ve got time.
  • Maybe things will improve and be resolved.
  • But don’t sweep it under the rug indefinitely if there’s no satisfactory resolution. Your intuition isn’t wrong.
  • Sometimes better options emerge from these things.
  • You have the power of choice and you have options; begin to explore your alternatives – just doing that will make you feel better

As a Trauma Recovery Coach specializing in narcissistic abuse, I believe so. Nothing makes me happier than helping fellow survivors extricate themselves from narcissistic abuse and take their lives back.

I have found that a trauma-focused approach is the most effective way to recover your life from the aftereffects of narcissistic abuse.

First and foremost, narcissistic abuse is relational trauma. This can only be healed in the context of a safe, attuned relationship. You need a deep, emotional, visceral experience of being treated fundamentally differently than you were treated when you were traumatized.

The above requirement is an inconvenient and sometimes terrifying fact for trauma survivors. Trauma disconnects us from others – for a very good reason. We have learned that others are not safe and the price of getting burned is very high. Connection is our deepest longing and greatest fear.

So it all starts with our safe relationship. It’s about you and what you need to feel safe. I pay you the kind of close attention you may never have experienced if you grew up in a dysfunctional family. Or that you haven’t had with another human for far too long.

We go over what you’ve been through and how it’s affected you. I listen carefully and understand and resonate with exactly what you’re going through. You get to be properly understood. Eventually, you deeply grasp that there’s nothing wrong with you – you have nothing to be ashamed of, you don’t have to be afraid, and it’s safe to go for what you want.

I contribute my knowledge and experience regarding narcissistic abuse, family scapegoating, and trauma. You are the expert on yourself. I never pretend I know you better than you know yourself. I am a fellow traveler with you.

Presumably, you’ve got some things you wish were better in your life. Together we clarify what you want – feeling better, reducing triggered states, improved boundaries & assertiveness, improved or new relationships, reconnecting to the world, health & self-care, career changes, starting a business, or anything else you want – it’s your life.

I get 100% on board with what you want. We discover what’s been holding you back. We don’t dwell too much on or re-live the past except to determine how it’s currently affecting you. We learn how patterns that were once life-saving may be repeating themselves today. Oftentimes those patterns need to be updated to reflect your current reality.

How do we do that? Some form of distance from narcissistic abusers is necessary to start and can always be achieved – even if just psychological distance. You determine how much distance, what that looks like, and when.

We dissolve trauma bonds, unburden you from the toxic shame that was never yours to carry, make you aware of identity distortions (your “trauma identity”), and get your body, emotions, and fight/flight/freeze/fawn/submit survival states regulated (while dysregulated they reinforce identity distortions).

We discover your authentic self – it’s already there, and it’s better and more capable than you imagine. We give you tools to soothe, care for, and support yourself. Over time, we help you find ways to find and connect to safe others.

You learn that you have the power to change things, that it’s OK to try things and make mistakes, that it’s OK to ask people for help, and that people will actually help you now. None of these things were true in the context of relational trauma, but they probably are true now.

Armed with your upgraded identity, loosed from toxic shame, nervous system regulated, and empowered with tools, you create the great life you’ve always hoped for. Things can get much, much better.

Book a free 30-minute discovery call if this sounds like something you might be interested in.

Let’s just say that my family of origin was not the healthiest and I was the identified patient.

Let’s also say that I know from personal experience that developmental trauma and complex post-traumatic stress disorder can really mess a person up until they’ve sorted things out and properly digested the things that happened to them.

I have experience with intimate relationships with different Cluster B types and the special hell of narcissistic bosses and co-workers. I know how not to handle that situation, and how to handle it properly.

I most likely deeply understand and have endless compassion for what you’ve been through.

Our coaching relationship is all about you. But I’ll share as much of my story with you as I think will be directly relevant and helpful to you, your healing, and your growth.

While I would doubt anybody who claims they have 100% recovered from developmental trauma and complex post-traumatic stress disorder in its many manifestations …

I can say I’ve come a very long way.

My childhood was unhappy, my twenties were basically an unmitigated catastrophe, and my thirties got a lot better, with the help of God and an awesome wife.

  • However, I still found myself on the receiving end of a lot of crap from a lot of narcissists
  • I was also stuck in important ways
  • This is the way it seems to go if you don’t deeply heal
  • Repetition compulsion, trauma re-enactment, the universe telling you something; call it what you want

In my forties, I began learning about narcissistic abuse, family scapegoating, and complex post-traumatic stress disorder – my past and present started making a lot of sense, and I made the necessary adjustments in my relationships and began to do deep healing work.

I even got to the point where I calmly stood up to my narcissistic boss regularly without getting triggered – calmly telling him no, contradicting his gaslighting in HR meetings that I initiated. I would just flatly state “That’s not my recollection” and watch gleefully as he fumed; what fun! They believed me and had a talk with his superior; he backed off. Years ago that would’ve had me bouncing off the walls.

I was able to start exercising my strengths and founded a medical software start-up. Things can get better.

For the last 13 years, I’ve been steadily engaged in my recovery. Therapy with experts in narcissistic abuse, family scapegoating, and CPTSD. Reading, workbooks, journaling, meditation, self-care, and participation & leadership in groups geared towards recovery from narcissistic abuse. I could easily write a book about narcissistic abuse and recovery.

I’ve been trained as a Trauma Recovery Coach and have been supporting survivors for 3 years now. Nothing brings me greater pleasure.

While I am not certified as a life, business, or career coach, I love to help solopreneurs, freelancers, small business owners, and people looking to improve their careers or situations.

As a career-changer and founder of my own start-up, I love helping others navigate the issues they’ll encounter along the way.

This might include:

  • Strengths discovery
  • Gaining clarity around:
    • Values
    • Purpose
    • What’s meaningful to you
  • Discovering what’s possible
  • Developing a personal mission & vision
  • Growth / Abundance Mindset
  • Self-limiting beliefs:
    • Awareness
    • Deconstruction
    • Replacement
  • Strategy formulation
  • Goal setting & achievement
  • Assertiveness training
  • Internet presence
  • Online Marketing

I help people who have a dream. Though you may not have past trauma, many people are unnecessarily holding themselves back with self-limiting beliefs, self-defeating actions & other behaviors that undermine their success.

There are plenty of people who achieve their dreams – why shouldn’t you be one of them?

Let’s get you unstuck, take things to a higher level, and create the life that you love to live. I’ll champion you every step of the way.